I wanted to make some people aware and give some points on submitting your work to photography contests.
I have recently entered several contests for my work and have always read the fine print in their terms and conditions.
I personally will not send my work to companies, magazines or enter competitions that state in their terms and conditions that I lose the rights to my photograph. Some magazines do these kind of contests to gain free access to great photography work and without compensations can republish, sell (in their magazines or otherwise), post on billboards and do whatever they want with your photograph. You basically give up all rights to your work in the hopes that someone will see it. This is unfair and completely unneeded. If you submit your work into a contest it should only be used for that contest then deleted after the contest is over. This was a contest that I was looking to enter but read the fine print in their terms and conditions and saw that basically they could do whatever they wanted with my photograph after I submit it. I would lose all rights to my photograph.
“By entering, you grant to Sponsor a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, republish at any time in the future and otherwise use your submission, along with your name and likeness, in any and all media for any purpose, without further permission, notice or compensation (except where prohibited by law)”
Now if you notice it also say’s “EDIT” the photograph. So they could essentially take your photo and create or manipulate a false representation of your work and sell it, make money from that and you get nothing. Now I am not saying my work would even get that far but you should be aware that in general these companies want to use your work for free, make money off of it to sell magazines and completely leave you uncompensated. Now I understand some magazines will want to publish your photograph to show the contest winners (which is not compensated and I get that and agree to that part), but what I do not get is letting the magazine have complete control over the rights of my photograph. Not cool.
Some magazines and websites disguise these as “Photo Contests” a lot of the time. So be careful before you enter and make sure you read the fine print!